For questions that have to do with a sense of being awake and aware in the literal sense, but also those having to do with the nature of the mind and the formation of the individual.

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18
votes
3answers
900 views

What are current neuronal explanations and models of 'consciousness'?

I would like to understand more about consciousness from a neuroscientific perspective. I have a limited understanding of it in the philosophical/psychological sense through lectures. Although it is ...
17
votes
1answer
562 views

Subconscious vs Unconscious

From what I know, we use the term 'subconscious' to refer to the things that we can bring into our conscious. and, we use the term 'unconscious' for things that we can't know, they come automatically ...
13
votes
3answers
526 views

Research suggesting conscious control over brain region activation?

Has there been any research proving, disproving, or exploring the concept of conscious activation of specific brain regions? To elaborate on this: I've read that performing processing tasks causes ...
12
votes
4answers
644 views

If someone becomes a split-brain patient, which side will “maintain” the continuity in their consciousness?

The brain injury might apparently produce two "independent" consciousnesses, and I'm wondering where the original person's "consciousness" would "transfer". We had a debate on this over at Reddit ...
12
votes
3answers
198 views

Can we be conscious of our dreams?

During the day time, we are conscious of our surroundings and the brain does its work. During sleep, we are not conscious. We have dreams. But the brain continues to function. After we awake ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Running on autopilot

Sometimes, people say that they are "running on autopilot", meaning that they are doing the things that they normally do, without any real conscious involvement. I have read that it is not uncommon ...
12
votes
1answer
363 views

Is there a region of cortex which over a period of development becomes the seat of self?

Background Mountcastle's hypothesis, which is based on the observation of uniform cortical anatomy, suggests that the there might be a uniform cortical "algorithm". The only reason that some cortical ...
9
votes
3answers
581 views

Is it possible to run multiple thought processes concurrently?

For example, let's say I have a friend sprinting a 50m distance and that friend wants me to time the race, but I don't have a stopwatch so I have to count "manually". Can I count while simultaneously ...
9
votes
1answer
124 views

Can we draw conclusions about content of thoughts from neural firing patterns?

Can the neural firing patterns of animals be associated with specific kinds of thoughts? (ie Thoughts related to food, mating, or neighborly aggression?) I am curious about the speculations in ...
8
votes
1answer
107 views

Why do dreams lose clarity quickly over time after we awaken?

Right after you wake up from a dream, you seem to be able to remember most if not all of the details. Then, over time, these details fade and often disappear. Is this a form of regression? Why is ...
7
votes
1answer
58 views

How does masking work?

Masking occurs when the delay between the target and the mask is less than a threshhold (say 50 milliseconds). If sensory data passes from lower to higher visual cortices/processing regions as in a ...
7
votes
1answer
97 views

What are the internal and external variables for varying levels of self-awareness?

I'm looking for references to studies that show which variables increase or decrease self-awareness and to what degree. For example, internal variables could be level of a certain vitamin, brain ...
7
votes
1answer
290 views

Do characters in a dream have their own separate thoughts or identity?

I am very curious as to if any research has been done in this area, or if such a question even can be researched given the current tools and methods available to cognitive scientists. When one dreams, ...
6
votes
3answers
324 views

Is it possible for humans to conceive of being dead?

I am reading Stephen Cave's book Immortality, and one of the claims he makes early on is that there is a "mortality paradox." This is the phenomenon that humans know that they will die (based on ...
6
votes
2answers
184 views

What causes dreamers to accept dreams as reality?

I have long had interest in dreaming, and one of the defining features of ordinary dreams is that the dreamer either accepts the dream as "real life", or does not question the surroundings. Compare ...
6
votes
1answer
270 views

Does the structure of consciousness mimic that of the visual process?

It seems to me that the structure of the conscious mind has some strong similarities to the way our visual field functions. The visual field has a strong and detailed focus at the center, and this is ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

What triggers people to do competitive activities?

From my past I have seen some people who like to compete in games and try to be first(by games I mean all kind of games or hobbies such as video-games, sports etc. in which competition is included). I ...
6
votes
1answer
247 views

Descriptive models of different types of consciousness

In behavioral experiments we get the first-person responses of the participants. The third-person perspective is available through the collected data. There is a second-person perspective collected ...
5
votes
1answer
34 views

Does fluency on a psychomotor task result from practice and a focus on accuracy?

I know this formula, and I don't know where did I read it (or maybe heard about): Conscious accuracy + continuous practice = spontaneous fluency It's an educational technique for long-term ...
5
votes
2answers
110 views

What correlation is there between breath control and personal self confidence?

In yoga, the instructor mentioned that controlled deep breathing can increase self-confidence. (Next time, I will ask him why he believes that but I doubt he has any references...) Furthermore, ...
4
votes
3answers
170 views

How much information is lost when conveying an experience or emotion to another person?

Certain languages have words that do not literally translate into any another language. There is already a small loss of information in this sense. Emotions are a personal experience and the ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

Does “The Brain Machine” work?

I came across this article on Make Magazine on "The Brain Machine" which will supposedly put one into a trancelike meditative state via a combination of sound and light pulses. Is there any ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

Is there cognizance or meta-awareness of classical conditioning?

Behaviorism's initial popularity was largely due to it's ability to take cognition and consciousness out of the equation; bringing it close to something that could be tested completely objectively by ...
4
votes
2answers
211 views

Does each sensory neuron type have a characteristic spike sequence pattern?

Background It is known that all sensory information is input to the brain as neural spike sequences. Now, to distinguish between the spike sequences generated by retinal red/blue/green cone cells ...
4
votes
0answers
35 views

Why does injury cause brief unconsciousness?

I suppose I'm thinking specifically about head injuries, though this question applies to any injury that causes unconsciousness for, say, a few minutes. If you would revive so soon, why would you fall ...
4
votes
1answer
199 views

How are qualia localized in consciousness?

I understand that evolution incorporated arbitrary qualia into the default network to inform consciousness (the largest cranial global processing information subnetwork) about properties and qualities ...
3
votes
3answers
201 views

How did the unique features of human intelligence evolve?

I have been debating the following topic with a friend. She argues that humans do not descend from chimpanzees or orang-utans, because if we did, such animals would share the same cognitive thinking ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

Neurosurgically grown neural link between two brains?

I guess it's possible to surgically restore neural connection after a trauma (e.g. a severed hand can be reattached if done quickly). And, from history of evolution of hominids, it seems that just by ...
3
votes
1answer
790 views

Scientific findings of strobe lights and the brain

While there is a lot of general discussion and articles on the web that strobe lights cause epileptic seizures - I am looking for more specific data. Perhaps scientific references, papers or articles ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Is consciousness a biological function?

I'm watching a TED Talk by John Searle who is claiming that consciousness is a biological function. Is there any indisputable evidence for or against this assertion?
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Why do our senses evoke different subjective experiences

I'm wondering why there are different subjective experiences when our sensor systems are technically the same neurons that just get excited by different stuff (photons, soundwaves, ...). So why does ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

How do I change my tiredness patterns?

All of you probably know what the human 'circadian cycle' is, and depending on your personality, you would either be a night-owl or a morning-lark. I am interested in understanding the patterns of ...
3
votes
0answers
44 views

What is the psychological cause and meaning of “common sense”?

To what extent is common sense innate versus influenced by interactions with others? If someone has grown up with minimal interaction with other people, would their common sense be different?
3
votes
0answers
66 views

Are preattentive processes necessarily unconscious processes?

Are preattentive processes necessarily unconscious processes? If no, why not, and could you please provide an example of a preattentive process of which we are conscious? If yes, why? To the ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

How does subjective experience arise from matter?

Forgive me for lacking rigor, but if what I know is correct, it is established that consciousness and other higher functions characteristic of humans are a consequence of our cortex, specifically ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

What is the relationship between language and the level of comprehension of consciousness?

I asked a similar/related question a couple days ago about how language and/or culture affect an individual's cognitive capacity. I'm looking for materials, if any, on the subject of a language's ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

Are there any recorded cases of hearing the outside world while in a coma?

There are plenty of stories flying around of people having been in a coma, but able to hear the outside world. They usually include either hearing malicious things said by staff, or encouragement by ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Finding consciousness through EEG

I've read an article about the consciousness in vegetative patients. Adrian Owen is one of the neuroscientist making research on this field. The article published on "Le scienze" was about the usage ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Definitions of consciousness

It seems to me that many people know for themselves some extraordinary things about consciousness but rare are the people that can provide a definition of it. I have never met two people providing the ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

How does the unconscious mind work and can we consciously have any control over its contents and functions?

I have read up that the unconscious mind has substantial influence over our decisions, reactions and behaviors. Can we have much influence on how it functions and can we use it to our benefit? Also, ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

Is a newborn incapable of attributing to her own existence some basic value? [closed]

I quote from the publication "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?" (Giubilini & Minerva, 2013): We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own ...
2
votes
0answers
95 views

Evidence that qualia are not the same as physical processes?

With regards to the answer posted by @sandygautman in the question Do feelings have a purpose: Let me first state that I don't have a problem with either the question nor the answer; I'm only looking ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Meditation for patients with neuroleptic induced tension

Patients taking antipsychotic (neuroleptic) drugs often suffer from some kind of discomfort or tension. This can manifest as a neuroleptic induced dysphoria, akathisia, or some kind of anxiety. Is ...
2
votes
0answers
235 views

Are end-stage Alzheimer's patients still conscious? [closed]

I asked the same question at Reddit here, but none of the responses were convincing. So here's the thing: to the extent of what we know about consciousness, are end-stage Alzheimer's patients still ...
1
vote
8answers
1k views

What's the major difference between mind and brain?

I am preparing a presentation on "Mind Reading Computer", and all articles that I came across were focused on reading interpretations from brain through sensors. Articles like this clearly show a ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Is there another example of a strongly emergent phenomenon besides the mind?

If you agree that the mind arises from the brain and is an emergent property of it, then the mind has to be strongly emergent, rather than weakly emergent. Is there any other example in reality of a ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Brain after (electrical) blackout

I was wondering what happens if we lose all electrical impulses in our nervous system for a minimum amount of time. So first of all it is obvious that we will break together, as we are dead while we ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

Is it truly necessary to upgrade Tononi's criteria of consciousness in the Integrated Information theory?

I am referring specifically to a very recent paper by Max Tegmark. In this paper he proposes 3 more criteria (independence, dynamics, and utility principle) in addition to Tononi's original criteria ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

What creates the experience of “erasure” in visual perception?

When I was reading about object substitution masking, the author mentioned that sometimes we experience "erasure" of masked object. I sometimes have this kind of experience myself. It looks like the ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Is quantum tunneling required for nerve signals to cross the dendritic synaptic barrier?

A person says: "It turns out that the synaptic barriers of dendrite brain cells are too thick for nerve signals to classically cross. This means that nerve signals need to use Quantum tunneling to ...